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Are Huge Maps too Huge?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by BjoernLars, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. BjoernLars

    BjoernLars Warlord

    Apr 8, 2005
    Anyang, Kyeonggi-do, South Korea
    Edit After reading some replies, I think XRW175P6MQ4 came up with a simple and elegant solution to the issue at hand. The cost of social policies should be inversely proportional to the size of the map.

    I find that the bigger the map, the more space there is between the starting Civilizations. While this in itself is not a problem, I find the end result of the game a problem.

    What happens, as the game reaches the Industrial Age and beyond, the borders of nations don't solidify into nice firm, solid nations. Instead, many parts of the map are left unsettled.

    While having barbarians spawn in modern times in unsettled territory is not bad, its the amount that I find that it happens that is unsettling. Even within a Civilization's "sphere of influence" there is plenty of unsettled space. Sometimes in the modern era, the fog of war is still present between one Civilization's own cities.

    What I think leads to this issue (or problem if you deem sever enough) is two factors.
    • Global Happiness
    • Social Policies

    While Global Happiness in itself is a decent system that helps limits the growth of Cities and Civilizations over time, it can impede the complete settling of the map if there aren't enough Civilizations left.

    Here is a (over)simplified thought exercise. By the end of "this" game, each of the 4 Civilizations will be able to accumulated roughly 200 Happiness. With this, they can build 10 good sized cities. These 10 Cities when placed will cover up roughly 1/4 of the land. In total, there is about 800 Happiness in play during the game.

    Now, if two Civilizations are eliminated, that leaves two Civilizations that will still be able to generate about 200 Happiness apiece. This means that the total "Global" Happiness is now only 400 and the 20 total cities will only cover 1/2 of the map.

    I know this over simplified and that there are plenty of things to do increase your Happiness, but diving deeper into the idea, the amount of Happiness a Civilization can create has diminishing margin of returns. As you push for more Happiness, the more is required (a new city, money) to produce. With that, 2 Civilizations will have a harder time filling out a map than 4. It felt that in the previous release of Civilization, you could fill out the entire map without putting a giant hinder on your entire Empire.

    With this current model, the more Civilizations there are on the map, the better chance that the map will be settled to form large nations with border budding against each other by the time the Industrial. But since there is a large focus on War to this game, the destruction (though not always complete) of Civilizations seems to be more so. Even a conquered Civilization with one or two cities left will not be able to exercise its Happiness efficiently to play its role in helping settling the entire map.

    As for Social Policies, the more cities that you have, the harder it is to gain a new policy. While overall, this has a nice theory of balancing Vertical versus Horizontal Empires, I believe it leads to the impediment of settling.

    After settling my initial cities and conquering a few in a war with my neighbor, I have a nice collection of Cities. Unfortunately, there is a giant gap between my regular cities and the cities that I've conquered. Also there are no resources that I "need" in that gap, though two good, productive cities can easily be built in that area.

    Unfortunately, building cities in that zone will decrease the speed at which obtain my next Social Policy. When comparing the value of Social Policies vs two new cities to unify the borders of my Empire, it seems the Social Policies triumph.

    The choice of Social Policies vs. Cities is a very interesting idea that offers some good balances, but I thing greatly penalizes the settling of the map.

    Overall, I think that the choice shouldn't be Wide Vs Tall Empires, I think the choice should be "Building Out then Up" vs. "Build Up then Out".

    To mix this philosophy with the current Social Policies system, I've been contemplating this idea:
    • Cultural Victory requires 6 completed branches.
    • With each new era you enter, your Civilization may adopt three policies, thus guaranteeing 3 completed (if you adopt in that manner) Social Policy Trees.
    • The Cultural Cost of three completed Social Policy Trees would cost similar to 5 Social Policy Tree in the current state of Civ 5.

    With this, people can choose to build out first, getting the benefit of securing luxury and strategic resources at the cost of social policies. Once they have reached a good size, then they can start building up, increasing the speed they obtain their social policies.

    Others may wish to build up first gaining more social policies at the cost of resources. Once they've established their core cities, they could start expanding outwards, thus decreasing the speed of new social policies.

    I know that I have a lot of ideas that are much different to those of the standard game play. But I would like to hear your feedback.

  2. Steelyglint

    Steelyglint Warlord

    Jun 21, 2011
    If two civs are eliminated then the cities that you take will eventually get around to building happiness buildings to increase happiness.

    The answer for increasing density (and having more of the map completely settled) is adding more civs.

    Your idea to do with policies is bad because you go through the eras with SCIENCE and the cultural victory is in fact supposed to involve CULTURE (hence the name). And, having to choose between wide and tall is not a bad thing.

    I think I just destroyed your thread, unless I misunderstand lots of things. <3
  3. Ellye

    Ellye Warlord

    May 13, 2008
    In Huge Maps, I like to leave a few military units stationed in hills around my civilization, to eliminate nearby fog-of-war. It's actually a nice extra tactical layer for the game, and I personally enjoy it.
  4. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

    Oct 30, 2005
    Beyond the Veil
    You can just increase the number of starting civilizations...

    I almost always do that for large maps, and reduce the number for small maps.
  5. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

    Jan 15, 2003
    Building more units will help cover that land. That's really the main reason.
  6. Rpger29

    Rpger29 Prince

    Aug 11, 2011
    Yeah I just add +1 civ on Huge maps. I subtract one from small maps so that they don't feel so crowded from the start. I'm not always the one who takes advantage of this early either.
  7. XRW175P6MQ4

    XRW175P6MQ4 Warlord

    Apr 24, 2011
    What I think you are trying to get at is...
    Because huge maps have more land, you require more cities to cover said land even just to stay competitive with the AI in other areas. The increase in social policy cost should scale down somewhat with increased map size.

    In short huge maps are biased against culture wins.
  8. Glassmage

    Glassmage The Desert Flame

    Apr 23, 2011
    it is almost impossible to win Domination on a 22 civ Diety map.
  9. BjoernLars

    BjoernLars Warlord

    Apr 8, 2005
    Anyang, Kyeonggi-do, South Korea
    Random Characters: I think you summed it up very nicely.
  10. RonMar

    RonMar Warlord

    Apr 21, 2010
    Rhode Island
    I believe the increase in culture costs that comes with each new city starts out smaller with larger map sizes to compensate for this. Also, more cities enable you to generate more culture.

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